Amphibious operations a joint effort

This article has photo gallery Published on MAJ Kristin Gardiner (author), SGT Ray Vance (photographer)

Location(s): Townsville, Queensland

A 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment Mercedes Benz Unimog disembarks from a HMAS Canberra Landing Craft at Suva, Fiji. (photo: SGT Ray Vance)
A 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment Mercedes Benz Unimog disembarks from a HMAS Canberra Landing Craft at Suva, Fiji.

Staff from Brisbane-based 1st Division/Deployable Joint Force Headquarters joined other Defence representatives for an amphibious force staff exercise in Townsville in October.
Conducted by the Amphibious Task Group, the exercise provided an opportunity for personnel representing the key enablers of Australia’s amphibious capability to discuss the future.
Joining in were personnel from HMA Ships CanberraAdelaide and Choules, Army's Forces Command and 3rd Brigade, Director General – Land, Maritime Operations, 5th Aviation Regiment and Combat Training Centre.
Colonel Terence Dunne, United States Marine Corps, who is posted to the Joint Force Headquarters and in charge of amphibious capability and development, said the tri-service representation was indicative of the importance of the amphibious capability within Defence.
“Amphibious operations are truly joint with critical support generated from across the wider Australian Defence Force,” Colonel Dunne said. 
Key topics canvassed were amphibious shaping operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparation, and inter-agency discussion about the employment of the capability in 2017 and beyond.
Commander Amphibious Task Group, Captain Brett Sonter said the exercise was an opportunity to develop the impressive capability that had been demonstrated earlier this year.
“The successful integration of Canberra and Adelaide since their commissioning, coupled with the achievements through the 'Sea Series' of exercises, Operation FIJI ASSIST and Exercise RIMPAC has defined the significance of Australia’s amphibious capability,” Captain Sonter said.
“The staff exercise adds an important development tool by taking the lessons from this year and integrating the excellent data and information captured into future planning and development.
“The end result will be a further refined multi-role capability that is fully assimilated into the joint environment.”